ND: No arms in campaign

Foreign Minister George Papandreou yesterday welcomed his Turkish counterpart’s seeming acceptance of his proposal for Greece and Turkey to agree to a gradual reduction in arms spending. The opposition New Democracy party claimed it had made a similar proposals but said that such issues should be left out of the electoral campaign. «I welcome the fact that Mr (Abdullah) Gul welcomed my proposal,» Papandreou said. He repeated that such a bilateral deal would result in «a peace dividend that we will invest in our children’s education.» New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis, on a visit to Cyprus, said that he had raised the issue of a cut in arms purchases a year ago in a meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. But he also said, «We should leave petty political intentions and national issues outside the election campaign.»

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